Hello and welcome to the first feature in our Sex Stories installment of 2022! This is a safe space for women to come forward anonymously and share the highs and lows of their sexual experiences, whatever they might look like. You can read more pieces in this series here.
This month we’re chatting to Anita* who is a 44-year-old mum of two. She has been married for over twenty years. This is her story…
“I met my husband 22 years ago. We met in the summer of 1999 and were married six weeks later. We were both working in a call centre and he had stolen a cuddly toy that I had and held it to ransom for 1,000 jelly babies. We got on well from the start and just clicked. He asked me to marry him soon afterwards and he still says that he just knew from the start.”
“We moved into a bedsit before we were married and he began to suggest sexual ideas that were outside of my comfort zone. He would write letters describing what he wanted us to try – it was just different places to have sex and different positions. I agreed to most things, I think in an effort to please him, and we would stop it if I didn’t feel comfortable. He used to get upset if we did stop, thinking this meant I didn’t love him. From the very start our sex drives were different. I hoped his would calm down after the ‘honeymoon’ period and I think he hoped mine would pick up.”
“He suggested using toys and, as long as I got to choose it, I was happy to experiment. We then moved on to anal play (where I penetrate him with a dildo) and he also likes to have his balls tied and slapped. I used to balk at this when he first suggested it, however I am now OK with most of it. He would love me to have sex with someone else while he watched (or not, but I would have to tell him all about it) and he asks for me to talk dirty to him – I am really self conscious and hate this, but I do try for him”.
“He has fantasies that he wants to try out whereas I don’t – I just don’t think that way. I am not adventurous at all in bed. I have positions I like (missionary, doggy, starfish) and am happy with. Sometimes I don’t feel enough for him – why does he need all this extra stimulation (pain, toys,stories) to help him orgasm – why am I not enough. I orgasm though penetration easily and so for me, he is all I need.”
“I have a history of sexual abuse and I also suffer from recurrent UTIs and thrush (which seems to appear the day after we have had sex) so this makes me wary about being intimate. I have tried to introduce other ways (massages, for example) to keep us close and connected. I do sometimes wonder how many more years of having sex lie ahead and if I have the energy to keep going. Then I wonder what is wrong with me that I feel this way towards my husband. I love him and have never seen myself with anyone else, but sometimes I would like to not have to wonder ‘is tonight a night he is going to want to have sex and can I be bothered'”.
“It almost broke us up a few times and I am sure if you spoke with us separately, we would both say we have been the one to compromise more than the other. We have had couples therapy a few times and somehow, managed to weather any storms and we are still together and very happy.”
“We get on really well outside the bedroom, unless something happens that spills over and I am normally the one who tried to smooth things over. We laugh together all the time, we cosy up on the couch every night and watch shows together, we kiss lots, hold hands when out and are affectionate.”
“I would like a relationship where sex wasn’t a pressure I had to worry about. If I felt up to it, I could suggest it and it would happen, but if not, then it just wasn’t ‘there’. I know that is a very selfish view and only considers my wants. I don’t feel like I need sex – I genuinely feel that if I never had sex again, it would not bother me.